HPA No. 2011-472 (In re. 2225 California Street NW)
- HPA Number: 2011-472
- Case Name: In the Matter of: 2225 California Street NW
- Location of Property: 2225 California Street NW; Square 2528, Lot 919
- Date of Decision: February 24, 2013
- Type of Case/Type of Permit Sought: Request for hearing
- Disposition: Denied
- Subject Matter(s): Mayor's Agent – Jurisdiction; Historic Preservation Review Board
Summary of Decision:
A neighborhood organization, Preserve Our Green Space, petitioned the Mayor's Agent to hold a public hearing on whether to grant a permit for an alteration for a proposed five story apartment building. The proposed development had already been reviewed by the Historic Preservation Review Board ("HRPB") three times in the course of a year, and each time the Historic Preservation Office ("HPO") recommended approval. The HRPB had unanimously approved the revised concepts on December 6, 2012.
The role of the Mayor's Agent in the case where HPRB has approved the permit is very limited, so the Mayor's Agent denied the request to hold another public hearing in this matter. "The Mayor's Agent should hold a public hearing only when a request demonstrates a palpable error of law or such a clear error of judgment as to amount to an abuse of discretion.
Mayor's Agent – Jurisdiction:
Holding another hearing for a non-owner when the HPRB has already approved a permit is in the Mayor's Agent's sole discretion, per 10A DCMR § 104.4. While the Mayor's Agent does not accord the HPRB's decisions any formal deference nor give them "great weight," as it must to recommendations of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the Mayor's Agent nevertheless "should respect the greater expertise and experience of the HPRB in determining whether an alteration is consistent with the purposes of the Act, especially when such decisions turn on questions of degree and design".
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